Feb 8, 2009

Grammys: Celebrating today's music

Live-blogging the 2009 Grammy Awards


8:24 p,m,: Album of the year: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: "Raising Sand."

8:21 p.m.: Plant & Krauss singing "Rich Woman" and then into "Gone, Gone, Gone." Pretty mesmerizing vocal interplay, completely haunting song, and one of the best performances of the night. Can't fault it in any way, but Radiohead's "In Rainbows" was sill more innovative.

8:18 p.m.: Zooey Deschanel introducing Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, who will most likely win album of the year.

8:11 p.m.: Rap album of the year: Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III." Sorry, Lupe. Lil Wayne had this locked up. Now skip the rock project.

8:04 p.m.: Gary Sinise fills the Tom Hanks role this year, introducing one of the more "important" moments of the show, Lil Wayne's Katrina-inspired "Tie My Hands," a restrained, respectful performance from Lil Wayne, and one that nicely avoids having to bleep out a bunch of words on one of his nominated singles. It rolls straight into Alen Toussaint's "Big Chief," giving it a celebratory finish.

7:55 p.m.: A look to the past again, with an oddly short Bo Diddley tribute, featuring -- surprise -- John Mayer. Hey, where have we seen B.B. King and John Mayer perform before? Right. It was the last time there was a Grammy event on national television. Let's get to some awards, Recording Academy. Right now, no reason for this to be 3.5 hours.

7:51 p.m.: Say, when was the last award? All the way back at 7:06 p.m.

7:48 p.m.: Neil Diamond, the MusiCares person of the year, leading a crowd sing-along with "Sweet Caroline."

7:40 p.m.: Four Tops tribute, led by Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx. Pretty smooth renditions of "I Can't Help Myself" and "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch." Prior to the performance, Recording Academy head Neil Portnow advocated that Obama, a two-time Grammy winner, establish a secretary of the arts.

7:36 p.m.: UPDATE on Chris Brown and Rihanna: Brown arrived at the Wilshire Division station about 7:15 p.m., accompanied by another man. The pair drove into a parking lot behind the station on Venice Boulevard, east of La Brea Avenue, in a black Escalade. Brown and the man entered through a back door where a posted sign stated for “authorized personnel only.” Police are expected to release a statement later this evening. Read the rest here.

7:33 p.m.: Justin Timberlake and T.I. with "Dead and Gone," a surprisingly successful live performance, thanks to its slow build with orchestral and rock flourishes. Timberlake sounded much better here than he did earlier in the show, and brought a bit of soul to his vocals.

7:21 p.m.: Finally! Radiohead + the USC marching band performing "15 Step." It's the performance that should have opened the show. The Sprit of Troy supplied a smattering of rhythms, and Thom Yorke gave the most kinetic performance of the night, shaking and twitching wtih every beat. Johnny Greenwood's guitar parts sent spacey signals through the rhythmic haze.

7:09 p.m: Crisis averted. Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles simply performed backing vocals to Adele's fine heartbreak tale "Chasing Pavements." Sugarland received far more air time, however -- for a song the act has been performing at awards shows for well over a year.

7:07 p.m.: And now a pairing nobody ever asked for and nobody ever wanted: Sugarland and Adele. How will it compare to the Beyonce/Sugarland performance at the American Music Awards?

7:06 p.m.: Best male pop vocal performance: John Mayer's "Say." A sappy song, but nothing in the category was really worth rewarding, and Grammy voters are going to give a few awards to Mayer a year.

7:05 p.m.: Jack Black and jazz star Charlie Haden, in the oddest pairing of the night, but not as odd as Keely Smith and Kid Rock. Ooops. Not an odd pairing at all. Thanks, Miguel. Charlie is Jack's father in law, a tidbit we missed.

6:55 p.m. Paul McCartney performing "I Saw Her Standing There" with the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl on drums. This is stop No. 2 on the Paul McCartney cred-rebuilding tour, a trek that was put in place after he performed at the 2005 Super Bowl. First stop was "The Colbert Report." Next will be Coachella. Grohl was a non-entity, but if there's a Grammy event, a Foo Fighter will be present.

6:50 p.m.: M.I.A. performing "Paper Planes" on the day her baby is due, briefly. Please, M.I.A. -- the Grammys aren't that important. Rest. Then straight into "Swagga Like Us" with, in the words of Queen Latifah, the "rap pack." Most of the clip was in black & white, and everyone looks better in black and white. Lil Wayne looked rather professional, Kanye sounded great, but all eyes were on M.I.A., as they are anytime she's on the stage.


6:49 p.m.: Only 70 minutes to go!

6:41 p.m.: Record of the year: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, "Please Read the Letter." Yes, we wanted M.I.A. to win, too, but we knew that wasn't going to happen. M.I.A., whose child is due today, has more important things to worry about than a Grammy, anyway. Either way, it looks like we're set-up for Coldplay vs. Plant/Krauss album-of-the-year showdown, as expected.

6:38 p.m.: So right now, here's a couple options for you. You can listen to the Kenny Chesney ballad "Better As A Memory," or you can read this L.A. Now story about the latest in the Chris Brown/Rihanna story. Pop & Hiss is reading the story. Here's the intro:

Los Angeles police said they plan to detain R&B singer Chris Brown for questioning in connection with an alleged domestic violence assault against his girlfriend, pop singer Rihanna, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Both stars canceled their performances at tonight's Grammy Awards. The alleged incident is being investigated as a felony domestic violence case. It was reported about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in Hancock Park.

Brown and Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, were apparently in a car together and got into an argument on North June Street, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. Brown stopped the car, the two got out, and the argument escalated, according to police.

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